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Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction

Connecting Composing Strategies, Digital Literacies, and Disciplinary Content to the Common Core


Edited By Jenifer Jasinski Schneider

Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction is a collection of teaching cases that feature real teachers, real students, and real examples of K–6 writing instruction. Using student/teacher dialogue and reader-friendly narration, each case author describes a teacher’s use of print and/or media-based tools to teach students how to write for literacy and disciplinary purposes. Rather than focusing on one particular method, this book features multiple methods, such as writing workshop, 6+1 Traits, and balanced literacy, presented through authentic classroom examples. The book includes a view of writing instruction across grade levels, disciplines, and contexts. Current and future classroom teachers will be interested in the practical application and various viewpoints presented throughout the book. Casework in K–6 Writing Instruction could be used in teacher study groups, professional learning communities, undergraduate courses, Masters courses, and professional development seminars at the local, national, and international levels.
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10. Too Many Traits, Too Much Time: Trying to Teach Writing with Technology (Third Grade)




In this lesson, Mrs. Zenuch introduced the 6+1 Traits to a third grade class. Using digital brainstorming software, she categorized students’ big ideas about writing and soon encountered trouble managing too much information. Through a series of adjustments she transitioned from the brainstorming session into a reading of a children’s book to teach the vocabulary of the traits.


• Third grade

• Private school: Middle to high SES, 700 students

• Class demographics: 17 males, 15 females; 28 white, 4 Latina/Latino

• Teacher [Mrs. Zenuch]: White, 15 years’ experience

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